Who’s to Blame for Fat Shaming?

It’s time for the medical community to admit mistakes and stop blaming patients for obesity

Obesity is such an emotionally charged issue in large part because it has become entangled with a person’s willpower and character. This makes it different from almost every other disease due to the unspoken accusation that you did it to yourself.

Many physicians unconsciously engage in fat shaming because they believe that pointing out the many ways a person could’ve done better gives patients extra motivation to lose weight. As if the whole world was not reminding them every single day.

When it comes to fat shaming, I believe the camp that’s popularized the “Calories In, Calories Out” (CICO) mentality are responsible for a share of the blame. I’m talking about physicians and researchers who constantly insist that “a calorie is a calorie” or “it’s all about calories” or “eat less, move more.” What they actually imply with this rhetoric is “it’s all your fault.” Instead of treating the disease of obesity with compassion and understanding, this mentality infuses it with personal shame. I’m here to argue that calories in versus calories out is a pack of lies fed to us by corporate interests.

Obesity has come to be understood as a fundamental imbalance of energy and calories. This is a crucial mistake.

If you develop breast cancer, for example, nobody secretly thinks you should have done more to prevent it. Nobody condescendingly tells you to “get with the program.” If you have a heart attack, you don’t face accusations. Yet obesity has become a disease singularly unique in its association with shame. CICO folks imply that if you could just stop eating and stop being lazy, you too could look like Brad Pitt. But it’s not true. Instead, this deflects the blame for the obesity epidemic from ineffective dietary advice that’s been peddled for decades.

Obesity has come to be understood as a fundamental imbalance of energy and calories. This is a crucial mistake. As I argue in my book The Obesity Code, this obsessive fixation on calories needs to stop.

Up until the 1970s, there was little obesity, and people had virtually no idea how many calories they ate or burned. Yet, without effort, people all around the world lived without obesity.

If the majority of people were able to avoid obesity without counting calories, then how did counting calories become so fundamental to weight stability since 1980? There are two main changes in the American diet since the 1970s. First, we were advised to lower the amount of fat in our diet and increase the amount of carbohydrates. The push to eat more white bread and pasta turned out not to be particularly slimming. But there’s also another problem that largely flew under the radar: the increase in meal frequency.

In the 1970s, people typically ate three times per day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

By 2004, the number of meals eaten per day had increased closer to six per day—almost double. Now, snacking was not just an indulgence, it was encouraged as a healthy behavior. Meal skipping was heavily frowned upon.

The admonishments against meal skipping were especially loud. Doctors and dietitians told patients to never ever skip a meal. Yet from a physiological standpoint, if you don’t eat, your body will burn some body fat to get the energy it needs. That’s all that happens. It’s the entire purpose the body carries fat in the first place. We store fat so we can use it. If we don’t eat, our bodies use the body fat.

As people gained more weight, the calls for people to eat more and more frequently grew louder. Doctors would say to cut calories and eat constantly—graze, like a dairy cow in a pasture.

People with obesity are victims of poor advice to eat more often and lower dietary fat in a desperate effort to reduce caloric intake.

But the advice didn’t work. Either the dietary advice for weight loss was bad, or the advice was good, but the person was not following it. I believe that the former is correct. Therefore, people with obesity are victims of poor advice to eat more often and lower dietary fat in a desperate effort to reduce caloric intake. Their weight problems are a symptom of a failure to understand the disease of obesity. I do not believe they have low willpower or weak character. Many physicians and researchers believe the latter conclusion. They believe the problem is the patients. But that conclusion suggests that the obesity epidemic is the result of a worldwide collective simultaneous loss of willpower and character. Was this obesity crisis actually a crisis of weak willpower?

Somewhere around 40 percent of the U.S. adult population is classified as obese and 70 percent are overweight or obese. Suppose a teacher has a class of 100 children. If one student fails, that may certainly be the child’s fault. Perhaps they didn’t study. But if 70 children are failing, then is it not more likely the teacher’s fault? In obesity medicine, the problem was never with the patient. The problem was the faulty dietary advice patients were given.

This is why obesity is not only a disease with dire health consequences but a disease that comes with a lot of shame. People blame themselves because everybody tells them it is their fault. Nutritional authorities throw around the euphemism “personal responsibility.” But it’s not.

The real problem is an underlying assumption that obesity is all about calories eaten versus calories burned. The natural conclusion of this line of thinking is that if you are obese, “it’s your fault” and you “let yourself go.” You either failed to control your eating or did not exercise enough. But obesity is not a disorder of too many calories. I argue it’s a hormonal imbalance of hyperinsulinemia. Cutting calories when the problem is insulin is not going to work.

Not only do people with weight problems suffer all the physical health issues—type 2 diabetes, joint problems, etc.—but they’re also shamed for it. It’s time for the medical community to admit its mistakes and stop playing the patient blame game.

Where people around the world eat the most sugar and fat

We all know Americans love their sugar. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that the love may border on lunacy, at least compared with the rest of the world.

Here in the United States, the average person consumes more than 126 grams of sugar per day, which is slightly more than three 12-ounce cans of Coca-Cola. That’s more than twice the average sugar intake of all 54 countries observed by Euromonitor. It’s also more than twice what the World Health Organization recommends for daily intake, which is roughly 50 grams of sugar for someone of normal weight.

In Germany, the second-most sugar-loving nation in the world, people eat roughly 103 grams on average. In the Netherlands, the country with the third-biggest sweet tooth, people eat 102.5 grams. And in Ireland, which ranks fourth on the list, sugar intake falls just short of 97 grams.

At the other end of the spectrum are India, Israel, Indonesia and China, where people apparently don’t like sweets. In India, people eat only about 5 grams per day on average. In Israel, it’s 14.5 grams. In Indonesia, it’s just over 15 grams. And in China, it’s just under 16 grams.

Here’s the full list (notice that people eat fewer than 25 grams of sugar in only 10 countries):


The good news for Americans is that they fare a bit better when it comes to fat consumption.

Belgium, where people eat 95 grams of fat each day on average, holds the distinction of being the world’s most fat-crazed country. Germany, where people eat 86.5 grams of fat each day on average, is second. Finland, where people eat just shy of 81 grams, is third. And the Netherlands, where people eat just over 80 grams, is fourth. The United States is 16th on the list, at 65.5 grams, roughly 12 grams more than the average seen across the 54 countries.

India, Indonesia and South Korea, where people eat the least amount of fat, consume 10 grams, 15.5 grams, and just over 20 grams per capita, respectively.

The U.S. government recommends that people “aim for a total fat intake of no more than 30 percent of calories.” Assuming that people consume 2,000 calories a day (which they don’t, but let’s assume they do), that would mean about 65 grams of fat. So Americans aren’t doing all that bad.

Here’s the full list:


Interestingly, neither sugar nor fat consumption seems to be a good indicator of obesity — not at least among those countries that eat the most fat and sugar. Sure, Americans are both eating way too much sugar and outpacing the rest of the world in waistline. But outside of that, there doesn’t seem to be much of a suggestion that an affinity for either is associated with higher rates of obesity in these countries — based on this data at least.

Germany, which ranks second in both sugar and fat consumption per capita, is among the skinniest nations in the developed world. Only 14.7 percent of its population over the age of 14 is considered obese, according to data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Similarly, other countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden, are both near the top in sugar and fat intake, and near the bottom in obesity rates.

Lower sugar and fat consumption, however, does appear to align — at least a little more — with lower obesity rates, probably because it reflects lower consumption of food more generally. India, Indonesia and China, which are at or near the bottom of the list in both sugar and fat consumption, also happen to have the three lowest obesity rates (2.1, 2.4 and 2.9 percent, respectively) among the countries the OECD tracks.

What exactly does this all mean? It’s unclear. But it does make you wonder whether there’s a better gauge for why people in some countries are so overweight and others are not. One possibility is that it’s not the raw amount of fat or sugar content alone that matters, it’s also the type of food that’s being eaten. In the United States, processed foods are still wildly popular, a fact that could offer one more theory of how this country came to have an obesity rate above 35 percent.

Will Drinking Diet Soda Make Me Fat and Sick?

Will Drinking Diet Soda Make Me Fat and Sick?
It’s possible that diet sodas trigger an insulin response that prevents fat from burning. 


When I was in college I worked at the student newspaper, which was one block from a Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, pizza shop, sandwich cart, gyro stand and a food trailer beloved by all Ohio University students called the Burrito Buggy.

We often worked through the night, and I drank a lot of soda back then. It showed. I was roughly the size of a Burrito Buggy.

I took a jogging class — hey, I needed the credits — and I had so much trouble running for more than a few minutes on the school bike path that I decided to make some changes.

Would I stop eating fast food and overstuffed burritos?

Heck, no. But I decided I would switch to diet soda when I ate them.

See: compromise.

Thus began my relationship with diet soda.

Since then, I’ve always believed that diet soda was a good thing because it had fewer calories than regular soda. I never actually stopped to think about what was going into my body in place of those regular soda calories.

Why Cutting Back on Fat Isn’t Enough to Help the Heart

We all know that to keep our hearts healthy, we should avoid fatty foods like red meat, dairy and cheese. But a new study points out that to really protect against heart disease, you also need to eat more healthy fats

Health experts have given us a very clear message about fat in recent years — they warn us that animal fats can build up within our heart vessel walls and lead to plaques that can cause heart attacks, strokes and other heart problems.

But not all fats are equal, and there’s growing evidence that healthy fats — the ones found in plants, nuts and fish known as polyunsaturated fats — can actually protect the heart and dramatically lower risk of heart problems. In a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers calculate exactly how much each type of fat can contribute to heart disease deaths.


Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition and Science Policy, and his colleagues found that eating too little vegetable oils contributes to more heart-related deaths than eating saturated fats. In fact, only 3.6% of global heart deaths can be attributed to eating too much saturated fat, while just over 10% of heart deaths can be traced to eating too little plant oils — a three-fold difference. The study included detailed dietary information from studies involving 3.8 billion people in 186 countries.

While numerous studies support the benefits of eating more polyunsaturated fat, Mozaffarian notes that dietary guidelines, including the most recent revision released by the U.S. government, continue to stress limiting saturated fats rather than increasing healthy fats. The latest recommendations urge Americans to eat no more than 10% of their daily calories from saturated fats, which include coconut and palm oils as well as red meats and dairy products. But history shows that when people lower the amount of saturated fat they eat, they tend to replace it with carbohydrates, which can turn into triglycerides and get stored as fat.

Mozaffarian’s study shows that for this reason, just reducing saturated fat is important, but not enough. Countries where people eat more plant and vegetable oils had fewer heart deaths due related to consuming too little polyunsaturated fat, while countries such as Russia, Germany and Egypt had the greatest burden of heart deaths traced to inadequate amounts of vegetable oils.

Overall, the data also showed that heart-related deaths that could be blamed on saturated fats have dropped by 21% from 1990 to 2010, while deaths because people are eating too few healthy fats only declined by 9%. Deaths due to increased consumption of trans fats, found in many processed foods, however, went up by 4%. That strongly suggests that nutrition about fats needs to be more refined so people are aware of not just the dangers, but the potential benefits of different types of fats, says Mozaffarian.

“Our findings are consistent with the recent dietary guidelines to eliminate industrial trans fats,” says Mozaffarian, “and to replace saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat. What’s missing is the crucial advice that just increasing healthy vegetable oils can substantially reduce heart disease risk even further.”

How Fat Is Lost from the Body

When you lose weight, where does it go? Turns out, most of it is exhaled.

In a new study, scientists explain the fate of fat in a human body, and through precise calculations, debunk some common misconceptions. Fat doesn’t simply “turn into” energy or heat, and it doesn’t break into smaller parts and get excreted, the researchers say.

In reality, the body stores the excess protein or carbs in a person’s diet in form of fat, specifically, as triglyceride molecules, which consist of just three kinds of atoms: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. For people to lose weight, their triglycerides must break up into building blocks, which happens in a process known as oxidation.

When a triglyceride is oxidized (or “burned up”), the process consumes many molecules of oxygen while producing carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) as waste products. [8 Strange Things Scientists Taste and Eat]

So, for example, to burn 10 kilograms (22 lbs.) of fat, a person needs to inhale 29 kg (64 lbs.) of oxygen. And the chemical process of burning that fat will produce 28 kg (62 lbs.) of carbon dioxide and 11 kg (24 lbs.) of water, the researchers calculated.

“None of this biochemistry is new, but for unknown reasons it seems nobody has thought of performing these calculations before,” study authors Ruben Meerman and Andrew Brown of the University of New South Wales in Australia, said. “The quantities make perfect sense but we were surprised by the numbers that popped out.”

The researchers showed that during weight loss, 84 percent of the fat that is lost turns into carbon dioxide and leaves the body through the lungs, whereas the remaining 16 percent becomes water, according to the study published today (Dec. 16) in a special Christmas issue of the medical journal BMJ.

“These results show that the lungs are the primary excretory organ for weight loss. The water formed may be excreted in the urine, feces, sweat, breath, tears or other bodily fluids, and is readily replenished,” the researchers said.

The calculations also show the frightening power of, for example, a small muffin over an hour of exercise: At rest, a person who weighs 154 pounds (70 kg) exhales just 8.9 mg of carbon with each breath. Even after an entire day, if this person only sits, sleeps, and does light activities, he or she exhales about 200 grams of carbon, the researchers calculated.

A 100 g muffin can cover 20 percent of what was lost.

On the other hand, replacing one hour of rest with exercise such as jogging, removes an additional 40 g of carbon from the body, the researchers said.

Even if one traces the fates of all the atoms in the body, the secret to weight loss remains the same: In order to lose weight, one needs to either eat less carbon or exercise more to remove extra carbon from the body.

Where Does All That Fat Go When You Burn It Away In The Gym?

Most of us tend to think that our fat powers our exercise, so the fat is getting converted into energy and lost as heat. However, research shows that this is not true. Your fat consists of a number of atoms, and when you exercise, the bonds between these atoms break down. But, the atoms are still in your body! So, if you lost weight, where did they go?

Biologists at the University of New South Wales did an atom by atom breakdown of where your fat is disappearing, and what they found is shocking! They found that once the links between these atoms break down, you exhale most of them as carbon dioxide! So, when you exercise, you are literally breathing out your fat!

Watch the video.URL:https://youtu.be/C8ialLlcdcw


10 Ways To Melt Fat

Many of us are always looking for the best and easiest ways to burn fat in order to lose weight. Various diets, workout plans leaving apart the weight loss supplementary products available these days to help lose weight and burn fat. Anyway, here are some of the best ways to burn fat easily.

Increase your protein intake

A minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight daily is apt. This is primarily to promote muscle gains, but it also enhances fat loss.

Lift heavier weights

Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) refers to the increased metabolic rate you enjoy after a workout. How long it lasts can depend on a number of factors, and one of the most critical is how heavy you lift.

Drink cold water

According to German researchers, drinking about 2 cups of cold water can boost metabolic rate by about 30% which aids weight loss.

Eat egg

Clinical research proves that those who start their days with eggs have an easier time dropping bodyfat.

Consume dairy products

Dairy products are rich in calcium which helps spur fat loss, particularly around your abs.

Eat Apple

Apple contains polyphenols that increases muscle strength and endurance and even help fat loss, especially from the abs.

Eat spices

Hot peppers such as chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which is said increase the rate of calorie burn. Research shows capsaicin also promotes fat-burning during exercise.

Do cardio after weights 

One research suggest that cardio after a weight workout significantly burns more fat during the first 15 minutes of cardio than when they did cardio before weight-training.

Green Tea

Green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate that inhibits the enzyme that breaks down the neurohormone norepinephrine. Norepinephrine keeps the metabolic rate up, so preventing its breakdown means you burn more calories throughout the day.

Try nuts

One study reported that subjects eating a low-calorie, higher-fat diet (40% of calories from fat) with the majority of fat coming from almonds lost significantly more bodyfat than subjects consuming the same calories but higher carbs and lower fat.

Powerful Diet that Will Burn Your Fat in 48 Hours

If you decide to detox your body, everything you consume has to be helpful in the process of detoxification, but also it needs to supply you with the necessary fluids.

You are allowed to consume tomatoes which are rich in lycopene, grains and vegetables which will boost the cleansing process.

Start this diet during weekend.

Powerful Diet that Will Burn Your Fat in 48 Hours

Drink that helps losing weight:

– 300 ml of water

– 1 tablespoon of maple syrup

– 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

– 1 teaspoon of hot peppers

– 1 teaspoon of ginger

Preparation and Dosage:

Mix all the mentioned ingredients and your healthy drink is ready. Drink it in the evening before going to bed.

Activate your metabolism with this drink:

– 6 tablespoons of lemon juice

– 4 cloves of garlic

– 2 tomatoes

– 500 ml of water

– 6 ice cubes

Preparation and Dosage:

Mix all the ingredients in a blender. Drink this beverage in the morning before having a breakfast.

During the weekend, consume sugar-free green tea in large quantities instead of water. Try to consume only vegetables and grains, but in moderation.

Why is ginger good for weight loss?

Ginger helps you feel satiated which means it reduces food consumption. Moreover, ginger functions as a natural appetite suppressant, which is a great way to lose extra pounds. Natural appetite suppressants are not dangerous and they don’t cause rebound. Ginger does not include calories and when added in dishes or brewed in tea it can help you in reaching your weight loss goals.

Ginger is known as a thermogenic food and that is why it is good for weight loss. It increases the body temperature and helps improving metabolism, so you will be able to burn more fat than you would simply by dieting alone.

It is beneficial for the overall digestive system, helps to regulate and ease the movement of food through the stomach, small and large intestines. When food moves more smoothly, you will lose weight more easily.

Does This Make Me Fat, Or Is It My Genes?

Picking a fight with your spouse is like scratching a scab — it’s rarely a good idea, and it’s worse when done in public.

But that didn’t stop one couple from getting into an argument during a session at the American Diabetes Association annual meeting. People within earshot of the couple, glasses of Chianti and Pinot grigio in hand, listened closely as the husband laid out the terms of the argument.

Far from being uncomfortable, the crowd seemed to be enjoying the face-off — and they were getting CME credits too.

Who were the so-called opponents? Jeffrey Flier, MD — the dean of the faculty of medicine at Harvard University in Boston, and his wife,Eleftheria Maratos-Flier, MD, a professor of medicine at Harvard. Their topic was the root cause of the obesity epidemic.

While Flier made the case that obesity is largely because of genetics, Maratos-Flier posited that we should understand obesity in terms of its external circumstances.

The Environmental Argument

There is an obesity epidemic, there is no debate about that, with more than a third of U.S. adults qualifying as obese, according to the CDC, and that costs healthcare billions of dollars each year. Worldwide, there are more than a billion obese people.

“But this is not an epidemic that is based entirely on french fries and burgers,” said Maratos-Flier, pointing out that the U.S. is not the only country with an obesity problem.

Mexico, Australia, and the U.K. are in the same situation, as are other countries, despite varying dietary habits. There are many underlying risk factors for obesity — poverty, race, education, and maternal obesity.

But there’s another reason for the obesity increase, according to Maratos-Flier — the availability of inexpensive, often nutritionally deficient food.

Food in the U.S. has stayed relatively inexpensive compared with the cost of other consumables. “If something is cheaper, it’s easier to eat more of it, though we can’t show causation,” she said.

Obesity is hardly a modern disease, but one that’s been around for ages, she pointed out, showing portraits of several figures in Tudor England.

At age 55, England’s King Henry VIII was believed to weigh more than 320 lbs. He reportedly consumed 5,000 calories a day and 70 pints of ale a week. His contemporariesThomas Cromwell and Thomas More weren’t exactly skinny either, she said.

“Obesity was actually in vogue at the time,” she said. “The right kind of environment will drive obesity in a major way.”

Then there’s the bad dietary advice based on biases, not data, that people follow. Type 2 diabetes patients were often told that 45% to 65% of their calories should come from starchy carbohydrates, but that only made sense in the era before people took insulin, she said.

Maratos-Flier counseled that we need to do away with the following beliefs:

  • One diet fits all populations
  • Breakfast is necessarily the most important meal of the day
  • Carbohydrates can “jump-start” the metabolism
  • Fats are less filling than other foods

She noted that an increasingly sedentary lifestyle is also an environmental factor in the rise of obesity. As jobs decline in the agricultural, building, and service sectors, daily routines have become more sedentary, she added.

The Case for Nature

Flier seemingly conceded the debate at the start of his argument. “I would be happy to declare her the winner of the debate right now,” he said.

However, he noted that obesity and body mass index (BMI) is about 50% to 70% genetic. The evidence for this comes from three major sources: family studies of obesity, twin studies, and adoption studies.

In the twin studies, researchers would overfeed one twin and underfeed the other, but found that genetics accounted for some response, regardless of environment. Research has also been done on genes and obesity in mouse models.

Some genes were found to be strongly associated with obesity, but they are relatively rare, affecting only a small portion of those who are obese, Flier said. There are about 130 proposed genes that account for obesity, but only about 10 have been established in large studies and meta-analyses.

“Although obesity is clearly heritable, only a few genes were firmly associated with obesity or related traits,” Flier said. In the last 10 years, genome-wide association studies have identified more than 75 new “obesity-susceptibility loci.” These loci affect adult and childhood BMI, but not birth weight, and have a very low predictive value, he stated.

Research is still needed to identify the underlying genes and gain a better understanding of the role of epigenetic factors, Flier said. In addition, it seems that changes in intestinal bacteria have metabolic consequences, but most of the genes in the microbiome remain unidentified.

It’s unclear how much environment and dietary factors affect the microbiome and exactly how changes in the gut affect obesity. In addition, research is needed on how the brain regulates appetite and satiety.

Flier stressed that there is so still much about obesity that remains a mystery. “Most of the answers right now are unknown,” he noted.

Fat and sugar: Diet of confusion.

In the debate over food and health, it is too soon to absolve fat and demonise sugar. Some nutritional clarity is urgently needed

ACCORDING to the Oxford English Dictionary, the expression “heart attack on a plate” was first recorded in 1984 in a newspaper interview with actor Michael Caine. He was living in health-conscious Los Angeles at the time and missing his full English breakfast. That rings true, as it was around then that the US public was being urged to reduce its intake of saturated fat to cut the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Thirty years on, the idea that pigging out on bacon, egg and sausages can lead to a heart attack is second nature to most of us; it is probably the single most influential piece of nutritional advice ever dished out.

But in recent weeks and months a steady drumbeat of media coverage has suggested that saturated fat has been unfairly maligned. “Eat Butter”, declared the cover of Time magazine. “Everything we thought we knew about dietary fat is wrong,” said the blurb on The Big Fat Surprise: Why butter, meat and cheese belong in a healthy diet, an influential book by investigative journalist Nina Teicholz.

Really? Everything? As usual, the truth is less earth-shattering. Yes, two large reviews of the evidence have cast doubt on the supposedly rock-solid link between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. Scientific understanding of how the human body handles fat has indeed moved on. And the original research that proved the link has been questioned (see “Heart attack on a plate? The truth about saturated fat“). But it is too soon to declare saturated fat innocent of all charges. Much more research is needed before the nutrition rule book can be rewritten. In any case, meat, butter and cheese already belong in a healthy diet, as long as you don’t eat too much of them.

If there is an immediate take-away message, it is that singling out one nutrient at the expense of the wider dietary context is a mistake. In our rush to cut down on saturated fat, we may have inadvertently upped our intake of other unhealthy nutrients, especially sugar. In fact, one of the interesting by-products of the saturated fat debate is that it is helping to reinforce the emerging idea that refined sugar is the real demon in our diets.

The case against sugar is getting stronger, as our story earlier this year spelled out (New Scientist, 1 February, p 34). But it would be a mistake to fixate on sugar at the expense of everything else.

<i>(Image: Getty)</i>

As Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at the University of Oxford, told New Scientist: “If we have learned anything from the low-fat era, it is surely that it is not as simple as one single nutrient. Are we not in real danger of making the same mistake again by saying it’s all about sugar, and if we cut the sugar it will be fine?”

Those charged with making and disseminating public health advice should take that message very seriously. Part of the reason for the gleeful, almost celebratory, response to the saturated fat rethink is that people do not like being lectured to by the health police, and enjoy gloating when they appear to have got it wrong.

We need public health authorities, of course, but we also need them to get their messages right. With the confusion surrounding fat and sugar, it is surely time for the appropriate bodies – including the UK’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, which last reviewed the evidence on fat in 1991 – to step up to the plate and provide some clear, honest and evidence-based advice on what now constitutes a healthy diet.